Hunter Biden quits Chinese firm after Trump attacks

Hunter Biden said he is stepping down from the board of BHR, a Chinese private equity firm, and will not work for foreign-owned companies if his father, one of the top Democratic 2020 candidates, is elected president.

Mr Biden’s lawyer, George Mesires, said in a statement on Sunday that his client, the son of former US vice-president Joe Biden, would “readily comply with any and all guidelines or standards a President Biden may issue to address purported conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such conflicts, including any restrictions related to overseas business interests”.

Mr Mesires added: “In any event, Hunter will agree not to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign owned companies.”

The statement marked the first public comments from Hunter Biden since he found himself in the middle of a scandal that has led to an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

That inquiry has centred on Mr Trump’s July 25 phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. A White House memorandum released last month showed that during the call, Mr Trump asked Mr Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, among other matters.

Joe Biden has long been seen as a favourite among Democrats vying to take on Mr Trump in next year’s US presidential election. Hunter Biden took up a lucrative board position with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company, in 2014, when his father was still vice-president in the Obama administration.

Mr Trump has alleged that Joe Biden applied improper pressure on the Ukrainian government in 2016 to fire a top prosecutor who, the president claimed erroneously, had opened an investigation into Burisma in order to help his son. Mr Biden’s calls were part of a wider effort involving US officials in Kiev, Western allies and international groups, including the IMF and the World Bank, to crack down on corruption in the country.

Hunter Biden left Burisma’s board earlier this year. Mr Mesires said on Sunday: “Despite extensive scrutiny, at no time has any law enforcement agency, either domestic or foreign, alleged that Hunter engaged in wrongdoing at any point during his five-year term.”

The younger Mr Biden has also been scrutinised for his unpaid board position with BHR. Mr Mesires said on Sunday that Mr Biden intended to resign from the role by the end of the month.

Mr Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, have made a range of unsubstantiated allegations against Hunter Biden in recent weeks.

After Mr Mesires’s statement was published on Sunday, Mr Trump said on Twitter: “Where’s Hunter? He has totally disappeared! Now looks like he has raided and scammed even more countries!”

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